Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Patron of the Arts

My Bub is not quite the uber-crafter that his older cousin Fancy is, but he does enjoying crafting and creating. Cutting out pictures from magazines and catalogs, drawing, painting, gluing, “sticker-ing” – all the creative work you would expect from a preschooler, as well as some speciality work such as affixing stickers and small plastic objects to empty Diet Coke cans and calling the finished product a “trophy.” He also specializes in live art installations wherein he uses his little brother as a tabula rasa and covers him with toys, clothes, baskets, and diapers.

He warmed my heart a couple of months back by describing himself as an “art man.”

The trophies and brother “sculptures” are a bit difficult to display. We have, however, found a way to give our “art man” his own gallery.

I bought some clothes line and clothes pins at our local hardware store, and my father-in-law got the job done with just a hammer and a few nails.

Voila! It’s a breakfast nook and an art gallery!

Notice how Bub even has a t-shirt hanging on the line!

Here’s a view a few weeks into the school year with fall creations from home and school rotating into the collection.

I’m happy with the gallery because it gives me a dedicated place to go with many of art man’s creations. The only problem? Bub’s a bit of a diva in that he’s only allowed for one of Little Bit’s creations to make it into the gallery. (It's the black and red line piece to the left of the art man's leaf man.)

There remains the perennial problem of what to do with the pieces after they rotate out. I’ve been deferring the question by placing them in a bin, which will eventually overflow and force some decisions. I guess some will get filed in the circular file and some will get saved. Decisions, decisions. But then, how much do you save and where do you put it? And, by the time anyone is interested in looking back at it, will you still be able to find it? Will it matter?

A person who has every significant* piece of writing she has done since seventh grade struggles will these issues, you know?

If there are art men and women in your life, how do you display their creations? Then, how do you decide what to save? Have you ever tried the tip from a few years ago (on Oprah, I think) about photographing the art and collecting the digital images in photo books?

What did your parents save of yours? Have you revisited your childhood works? Have your children seen your childhood creations?

Enough questions. How about some answers . . . Please share in the comments.

*Let's loosely characterize as "significant" anything that includes words and, um, sentences.


Anonymous said...

I also have a clothesline art wall down in our basement. I will say that the pieces often rotate to the recycle bin. I don't feel so bad since most of the pieces come home folded in her bag.

I try not to overthink some of my tossings. I save some, sure, but I try to purge as well.

I keep in mind what my mom has unloaded on me since I've owned my own house. Sure, she gave me some lovely old writing pieces and artwork, but along with that, a box of dried-out corsages from my high school dances and my volleyball kneepads from 1994. Oh man...

Good luck

Sara G.

brainella said...

Oh, what a great idea. We have a wall that would work great on!

My mother has a cedar chest full of art work, pictures and stuff from our childhood. She keeps threatening to clean it out but has not. We occasionally peek in and look at things. It's fun.

Mrs.Mayhem said...

Your clothesline art gallery in ingenious!

I struggle with saving the kids' artwork too. Our basement playroom is huge, so that is their art gallery. The walls are covered with their art. Then each child has two bins (and only two bins!) for any overflow or writing pieces.

All this artwork really is too precious to part with. How about starting a scrapbook for you favorite pieces? Each child can have their own scrapbook.

E... said...

I've gotten a little more ruthless with the throwing out of things since both O and N are in schools now that send home rivers of paper each week. Also since they went through their coloring obsession this summer and I couldn't keep every page they added some crayon to. However, I still keep a lot.
I have this great box, like a pizza box that I kept all of O's more significant preschool stuff. I've switched to an accordian file for both kids for this year, but won't be able to put bulkier stuff in there. I make my decisions based on what I think was a really clever idea for a project, or whatever I have a memory attached to.
The "current" display is on the door to the basement, and each kid is also allowed to put whatever they want on their own door to their bedroom. I have art from each of them framed in the kitchen. The idea was that I would rotate it, but that hasn't happened.
I read somewhere that you could take photos of each art piece and have a dedicated digital frame for such art work. Not sure how you date/sign it that way, though.

CaraBee said...

Honestly, I throw out pretty much all of her artwork. Gah. That makes me sound heartless. I imagine when it takes on a more recognizable form, I will be a little more sentimental, but for now they're pretty abstract. I do love the clothesline idea!

I have pretty much none of my early works. We moved a lot and those sorts of things just didn't make the cut, I guess. I don't really feel deprived, but it would be neat to see some of that stuff. Oh well.

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